On Thursday, April 22, federal ministers made an announcement regarding Canada's international travel restrictions. During the update, they announced a ban on direct flights from India and from Pakistan, both for 30 days and specifically for passenger flights.
Minister Alghabra said he's making the call to "halt direct passenger air traffic from those countries effective 11:30 p.m. EST tonight" as COVID-19 virus variants increase in these places.
Canada suspends flights arriving from India and Pakistan for 30 days – April 22, 2021
In addition, he said that "passengers who depart from India or Pakistan via an indirect route after 11:30 p.m. eastern tonight will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test at their last point of departure."
The B.1.617 variant, a COVID-19 virus variant first detected in India, has reportedly been detected in Canada in both B.C. and Quebec, according to Global News.
This is currently being called a "variant of interest" rather than a "variant of concern," said B.C.'s top doctor in Thursday's COVID-19 update.
Get latest and greatest stories every day in your email inbox.
On Sunday morning, May 16, Pastor Henry Hildebrandt led a service outside of the church at 10:30 a.m. The Church of God at Aylmer posted on Facebook the building "may be locked, but our God deserves all honour, glory, and praise."
A live stream was posted to YouTube and its Facebook page, which CBC News reports had 200 to 250 churchgoers present at the service without masks. In a court ruling on Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas instructed that the church remain closed until the provincial government permits public indoor gatherings at a 30% occupancy rate.
Pastor Hildebrandt apparently commented on the locked doors during his sermon, saying that churchgoers are at the service today "because we have the authority of God on our side."
David Musyj, CEO of Windsor Regional Hospital, reached out to the Public Health Agency of Canada to push for the ability for residents to travel to Detroit, MI, to receive a vaccine dose, or to have excess vaccinations be sent up to Windsor.
We’re still waiting to hear back on @WRHospital’s proposal to @GovCanHealth to allow Windsor to receive vaccine sup… https://t.co/hWJIWfUNaH
In an email sent to Narcity, Musyj confirmed anyone who travels to the U.S. for a vaccine may not have to quarantine for 14 days when they return as it is considered an "essential medical service or treatment."
PHAC wrote to Musyj saying travellers must provide certain documentation to border control when crossing.
Written evidence from a licensed Canadian healthcare practitioner that states medical services or treatments outside of the country are essential is required. A traveller also needs written evidence from a licensed health care practitioner in the U.S. to verify these services are able to be provided.
Anyone travelling to the U.S. for a vaccine must also ride in a private vehicle, have a vaccination appointment, and cannot stop for any other reason.
According to CTV News, Mayor Drew Dilkens proposed a motion at the city's council meeting Monday, May 17, asking the federal and provincial governments to work with public health officials in Detroit. He wants them to allow Windsor-Essex residents to "take advantage of numerous offers from U.S. officials to make surplus vaccines available to Canadians without a requirement to quarantine."
Mayor Dilkens is hoping Windsorites can have a "fully vaccinated" summer, instead of the one-dose summer that has been promised by the federal government.